Though the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been felt by all, it’s no secret that the arts and entertainment sector has been hit the hardest.
With lockdown restrictions, major events have been postponed, while artists alongside other creative workers continue to suffer.
The Hilton Arts Festival recently announced that the this year’s event has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We left the decision as late as possible in the hope that the Covid pandemic would be less severe by September,” said Sue Clarence, the Festival Director.
“However, in the light of the Covid situation right now, it would not be socially responsible to go ahead with this year’s event. The generous donations via our crowdfunding campaign will make for a great event next year. Let’s all live carefully but in hope!”
Paul Venter, Director of Arts and Culture at Hilton College said he was “greatly saddened” by the cancellation of the 2021 festival “but circumstances beyond everyone’s control have brought us all to this point”.
“We treasure the opportunity that the festival gives us to support the arts and provide employment across a range of industries.
“With next year being the 30th anniversary of the Hilton Arts Festival, and the 150th anniversary of our school, we’re excited to make the 2022 event the best yet!”
Meanwhile, the management of the annual Hilton Arts Festival has appealed to the public and corporates to support an international crowdfunding effort through Back-a-Buddy, to enable the festival to continue in the light of diminished arts funding due to Covid.
With a fundraising target of R5 million, the festival has managed to raise just over R165 000.
The festival organisers are still appealing to art lovers across the globe, to help with donations of any size.
“All funds raised will be used to fund productions on the festival stages for 2022, and to pay artists, performers and crew – many of whom have not been able to work for nearly a year and a half,” festival management said in a statement.
Since 1993, the Hilton Arts Festival has showcased the best of South African theatre, dance, music, comedy, fine art and crafts.
The organisers said :“ It’s become a 3-day long beacon of creative expression, a platform for established and emerging talent to hone their craft, performing in front of thousands of visitors annually.”
Through the years the Hilton Arts Festival has hosted works written or performed by theatre luminaries such as Athol Fugard, John Kani, Pieter Dirk Uys and Fiona Ramsay.
It’s helped launch or further the careers of writers and artists such as John van de Ruit, John Vlismas, Greig Coetzee and many, many more, and thousands of learners have been given the opportunity to watch and participate in performances as part of the Hilton Arts Festival’s Jongosi youth programme.
To donate, visit Back A Buddy.